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Hong Kong saw its first cases of the coronavirus a year ago, imported from Wuhan. In a year, there have been reportedly almost 10,000 infected people and above 160 deaths. Hong Kong is currently battling its 4th wave of cases.

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Here are 9 things to know about the Covid-19 vaccination in Hong Kong.

1. When will the vaccines start arriving in Hong Kong?

  • Hong Kong has ordered 3 different vaccines, procuring 7.5 million doses of each.
  • Beijing-based Sinovac’s CoronaVac will be delayed instead of initially arriving this month as planned.
  • The first batch of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines for Hong Kong have been manufactured & safety and quality tests are under way. Arrival from Germany is expected in the second half of February if they pass the tests.
  • The AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine is expected to arrive in Hong Kong in the middle of the year.

2. What choice does one have when it comes to the vaccines?

The Hong Kong Government has said that residents will be offered a choice of which vaccine they will take.

3. When can one get vaccinated?

If the BioNTech vaccine is to arrive first and be used, it is elderly hospital patients and health care workers whom will be vaccinated first.

Initially, care home residents were planned to be part of priority groups but upon discovery of the storage requirements of the BioNTech vaccine and hence limits to where vaccinations can be conducted, they will have to be given the CoronaVac or the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine.

4. How long does it take for the vaccination process to be completed and your body to be protected?

  • The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will be administered in 2 doses, with a gap of 21 days.
  • It can take up to 14 days after the second dose to achieve maximum protection against the virus.
  • Hence, the total time estimate for your system to be protected against this virus, to the efficacy that this vaccine can provide, is about 35 days or 5 weeks, from the first jab to the end result.

5. How much does it cost one to be vaccinated?

The COVID-19 vaccine will be free of charge for Hong Kong residents with a valid HKID.

Information on whether the Hong Kong government will provide vaccines to people who are not Hong Kong residents, or to private clinics and hospitals for purchase by the general public, is not available yet.

6. Who is the vaccine not recommended for until further data has been collected?

If you belong to the following groups of people, you are urged not to take the vaccine until more data has been collected about the testing of the vaccine on similar people.

  • People with severe allergies to medications
  • Pregnant women
  • Children
  • Immunocompromised persons (such as those suffering from Cancer)

7. Are the vaccines versatile enough to protect against new strains of the virus?

  • There is no evidence currently to prove that the current vaccines will not work against the new strains of the virus.
  • Pfizer is currently undertaking studies to confirm that their vaccines can protect against the new strains.

8. Can the vaccines have unexpected side effects?

There are overseas reports of adverse consequences and some deaths, but no experts in Hong Kong have called for a halting of the rollout.

In a bid to encourage take-up of the vaccines, officials from the government recently commented that a fund will be set up to provide financial support for patients who experience side effects.

9. How does one keep themselves covered internationally?

In case you are an expat in Hong Kong, and are travelling to another country, or back home overseas, APRIL International offers international cover for vaccinations.

Learn more about the flexible range of coverage options available with a MyHEALTH Hong Kong plan or get in touch with a member of our team.

For more information about how APRIL International covers costs associated with COVID-19, you can review our FAQ here.

Note : This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

We advise members of the public to not speculate and/or spread unfounded rumours. Please visit this page for updates on the COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) situation.

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